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MikeR80

Outboard Engine Propeller Guards?

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What brands are people using these days?  I am ok w/ adding a safety feature and sacrificing a bit of performance, given what I'm using the boat for...

I'm looking for one for safety reasons on my rib that has a 2014 hp suzuki 4-stroke OB.  30 years of boating has taught me that there will always be risks when you're on the water, but I will do everything reasonable to minimize those risks.

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2014 hp on a RIB? Careful with that throttle.

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2 strokes are lighter, more powerful, and simpler (therefore less prone to problems). You would have to get a used one, or buy one from outside the US where they are still sold (Bahamas, Canada). Most of the small motors are made by Tohotsu which are rebranded for the likes of Mercury, Johnson, Evinrude, Mariner, etc. 

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its a 40hp suzuki.  50hrs on it.  seems to run great.  its a 4-stroke.  there are certainly advantages for the 2 stroke, but I got the 4.

Now what about those propeller guards?  the boat is super peppy, its just a 13ft zodiac cc.  i dont mind a loss of power... 

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I’ve never seen one nor use myself, and I have to say, have never seen the need. And haven’t seen any on other boats in years of racing and cruising. 

Haven’t seen a Floriduh Man article in which FM interacts with a prop. I’m thinking ‘not necessary.’ Just shut the engine off....

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On 7/5/2018 at 12:25 PM, MikeR80 said:

its a 40hp suzuki.  50hrs on it.  seems to run great.  its a 4-stroke.  there are certainly advantages for the 2 stroke, but I got the 4.

Now what about those propeller guards?  the boat is super peppy, its just a 13ft zodiac cc.  i dont mind a loss of power... 

Did you look at the links I posted in your thread about jet powered RIBs?

Here they are again:

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Use a kill switch cord religiously. Unless you drive into swimming people that will solve 90% of outboard related injuries.

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I think that all they protect is the propeller, particularly when the engine is not on the transom. If you suck something in and it doesn't just get blended, it's gonna be a bitch getting it unfouled.

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I put 4 prop guards on 90 hp 4 stroke yamaha 17' zodiak , 70 Yamaha 2 stroke 17' Whaler, 20 Tohatsu 4 stroke, RIB, 15 Yamaha 11' Whaler. Seem ok so far  no complaints from sailing instructors. Read ordering instructions to get right size for your motor. Approx. $140-$160 plus shipping, not too tough to install

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Family sailors-- yes, i looked at those.

Hobie- which brand did you go with?

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6 hours ago, MikeR80 said:

Family sailors-- yes, i looked at those.

Hobie- which brand did you go with?

Okey Dokey then there....

I'm curious about the brand Hobie17 used as well. Photos of the installed devices would be welcome as well. (If it's not a huge PIA)

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2 hours ago, hobie17li said:

I got Prop Guard out of Colorado direct . I'll try to remember some pictures

Thanks!

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ok just got back from Family Fun Night BBQ no sailing unfortunately, but did take pix..

sizing info is on their website, I had to return 2 that were too big, and had to shim yellow

ones with 3/8" starboard, easy enough.

zodiak w: propguard.jpg

RIB w: Propguard.jpg

Nibbles w: propguard.jpg

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We've put prop guards on all 8 of the instructor boats at our club for this season.  Will check on the brand, but it's a cage that surrounds the entire prop.  Hoods/cowls can suck things (like hands. arms, feet?) in. Performance drops with a cage, but the safety factor is 'way up. Our insurance carrier is much happier, along with the treasurer who pays the insurance bills.  

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so when you run over someone and their hand goes into the prop guard it will cut it off, in the old days you just got a cut

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This is what we installed, after looking at a variety of options.  http://www.propguardtech.com/index.html

Their main impact on performance seems to be on speed. http://www.propguardtech.com/The Prop Guard Proposition USPS.pdf   MPG probably drops as well, though the study they did doesn't seem to have addressed that issue. 

 

 

 

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On 7/13/2018 at 10:13 PM, PaulK said:

We've put prop guards on all 8 of the instructor boats at our club for this season.  Will check on the brand, but it's a cage that surrounds the entire prop.  Hoods/cowls can suck things (like hands. arms, feet?) in. Performance drops with a cage, but the safety factor is 'way up. Our insurance carrier is much happier, along with the treasurer who pays the insurance bills.  

that makes sense.  i think a cage would be best for us.  we dont need the boat to go fast.  my kids don't enjoy going faster than about 20mph and are too young to water ski or tube.  

maybe i will shoot an email to suzuki and see if they recommend a certain type of cage that works best w/ my model 4 stroke...

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Quote

Preventing Propeller Accidents – The Prop Guard Proposition by 1 ST/Lt Seth Cirker, N-IN Unfortunately, these days it seems we more and more often hear of the tragic accidents caused by boat propellers, which if not bad enough, frequently involve young children. As Bayside’s Assistant Squadron Educational Officer, while I continually find myself preaching proper training and safe boat operation, I still recognize that accidents do happen, and a fail-safe means to prevent propeller accidents is needed. With three children of my own spending their summers in a yacht club junior sailing program, I, like fellow parents, am greatly disappointed that such a solution is not in use. While it may seem obvious that installing a protective cage, similar to that of a fan, around a boat’s propeller would prevent accidental contact, “prop guards” have been continually plagued by perceived flaws which prevent the use of these lifesaving devices. This predisposition is most often based on the misbelief that while prop guards minimize the likelihood of accidental contact, they also minimize water flowing past the propeller, thereby resulting in greatly reduced steering and boat control. While physics mandates that propeller guards reduce water flow, the surprising truth, as I have been told by prop guard advocates, is that if designed correctly, there is no noticeable impact on boat performance other than limiting top end speeds. Could this possibly be true? Could the boating community be misinformed? Could a solution we have had available to us, but have chosen not to use, actually work and save lives? To answer these questions, a prop guard providing full 360 degree protection (front, sides and back of propeller) was installed on a typical sailing coach boat, a 17’ Boston Whaler w/ a 50 HP Yamaha outboard motor. This boat was then used to perform a series of tests based upon a procedure generated by the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) for the United States Coast Guard. Specific performance criteria, including acceleration, turning radius, holding a course in forward & reverse, emergency braking and boat speed was evaluated. These tests were performed, under different sea and wind conditions, by numerous highly qualified boating professionals, including certified powerboat instructors & operators as well as accredited sailing program directors & coaches. Across the board, the findings were unanimous, there was absolutely NO noticeable impact on boat performance during any of the maneuvers performed. The only effect of the prop guard, which provided the maximum level of protection, was a reduction in top speed from approximately 23 MPH to 17 MPH. So, while not necessarily a solution for all, as prop guards might not be appropriate for high performance boats, prop guards do appear to be the perfect fit for boats like those used in junior sailing programs where the additional safety gained is more important than the high speed lost. About the author Seth Cirker is a technology consultant, avid boater and United States Power Squadrons officer. He and his family reside in Port Washington, NY and can be frequently found sailing their sloop Casamar on Long Island Sound. You can find Seth on LinkedIn.

 

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The quote above was posted via link by Paul, but I thought it was really interested, so posted it in full...

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I also feel that while prop guards should be installed, operator training is a must. These young instructors have to be as careful as ever even if prop guards are installed.

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prop guards are for people that either cant operate boat or cant deal with the physics of the gearbox or skeg hitting you at speed and the damage that will do whether there was a prop or not
Its like  a McGregor 26 , its a solution to a problem that doesnt exist

Now go and look at how many people get killed by jetskis....

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23 hours ago, Sailabout said:

prop guards are for people that either cant operate boat or cant deal with the physics of the gearbox or skeg hitting you at speed and the damage that will do whether there was a prop or not
Its like  a McGregor 26 , its a solution to a problem that doesnt exist

Now go and look at how many people get killed by jetskis....

Many people feel that prop guards are unnecessary because they don't use their motors in situations where there are people in the water near them.  Many people go out fishing and simply don't go in the water themselves.  They may go out to swim and simply turn the engine off. They have three people on a tow float and they simply make sure that it stays fifty feet away from the prop. 

Sailing programs have to deal with situations that are not simple.  They specifically need to operate in areas where there are children in the water near the props who require  assistance. The powerboats have to maneuver around swamped or capsized dinghies in conditions that are not benign. Waves and wind that will make dinghies capsize make it hard to see the people you're trying to help as you bounce around in your RIB or whaler- perhaps landing on them by mistake if they pop up from under a sail or inverted hull. They may not be operating in  the smooth conditions that make fishing, waterskiing or swimming enjoyable. Spinnaker sheets or halyards can be trailing in the water, further hampering efforts.  Instructors are not zipping around "at speed" in  the vicinity of capsized dinghies. Having the propeller cut someone who needs help makes a bad situation worse: the instructor now has to get immediate medical help for the victim.  Do the other crew(s?) get left in the water as the cut victim bleeds to death en route to the dock?   If a prop guard can avoid this, it makes the equation a lot simpler.  

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We had races on Saturday for SS class wood 16' sloops in the creek, too windy in the bay 20 kits. Had at least 4 or 5 capsized 2 broken masts, a broken rudder, third race cancelled. We used 17 Zodiak and 17 Whaler with prop guards, lot of people in the water. SSs fill up with water and you have to drag them up wind to unrig and tow back. Glad we had prop guards, but didn't think about it at the time, too busy

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